AG Barr announces resignation of U.S. attorney; Berman refuses to step down

11 months ago 64
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June 20 (UPI) -- Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who has overseen the prosecution of President Donald Trump and his associates, has denied Attorney General William Barr's statement announcing his resignation.

Barr said in a statement Friday evening that Berman was "stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for New York."

"With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation's most significant U.S. Attorney's Offices, achieving many successes on consequential civil and criminal matters," Barr's statement continued. "I appreciate his service to the Department of Justice and our nation, and I wish him well in the future."

Barr added that Trump nominated Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton to replace him. And while the Senate is considering Clayton's nomination, Trump has appointed the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito to temporarily fill the position.

However, Berman, who who has been investigating Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani's role in efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine, denied the position was vacant.

"I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York," Berman said in a statement on Twitter. "I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption. I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this office to pursue justice without fear or favor -- and intend to ensure that this office's important cases continue unimpeded."

Berman, who has served as U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York since 2018, oversaw the indictment of Giuliani's associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, in October for allegedly violating a ban on foreign donations in federal elections.

His office also prosecuted Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, though Berman was recused from involvement in the case.

The move "reeks of potential corruption of the legal process," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, said. "What is angering President Trump? A previous action by this U.S. attorney or one that is ongoing?"

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